These past few years, I’ve conversed with children, adolescents and adults about violence in a city whose general public image is synonymous with homicide rates and gang conflict. My research focuses on children’s and adolescents’ moral evaluations and understanding about gang-related violence. What I’ve learned thus far is that the dimensions of violence extend beyond any particular gang border, extortion or neighborhood. The youth I’ve spoken to carry a burden of being branded as violent delinquent offenders by an anxious society. They are conscious that their existential being has been stigmatized as the source of society’s ills and potential hostility.
November 29, 2017